Strictly Come Dancing Tour 2012 – A Monkseal Review

Oh yes, I went.

  • I did enjoy this tour quite a bit more than the last time I went. There could be any number of reasons behind this. The lack of Warm-Up Man/Enforced FUNFUNFUN Brigade beforehand. The fact that I got battered sausage and chips on the way home rather than suffering through an O2 hot-dog. The fact that I was sat 8 rows from the front rather than up in the nosebleed section. The fact that the tickets were free. The lack of Arlene. Who knows? Whatever reason, after my last tour attendance felt like a “once in a lifetime” thing, I’d be quite happy to go again after this series.
  • The show is, if anything, filthier than last year. It would not have passed up the chance of an innuendo at that “battered sausage” reference in the above bullet-point. Or the “hot dog”. Or “Up Man”. And there would probably be an inappropriate and unpleasant attempt to make “nosebleed” into something sexual that would be best forgotten after it happened. There were, I think, fewer Gay Jokes this time around. Or, at least, better ones.
  • Robbie’s VT revolves around the idea that he has spent the interim between the series and the tour playing football (“kicks”) and doing his hair (“flicks”), and passing this off to Katya as training. This is the odd example of a Comedy VT turning out to be accurate as his dancing has got worse. His salsa was probably the worst dance of the evening, and about as effective a way of “getting the party started” as throwing on some Radiohead records and getting the IKEA catalogue out.
  • I think the Robbie & Katya friendship might stretch to a Birthday Card, but it’s probably not making it all the way to a Christmas One.
  • The fireworks are, generally, the most pungent I have yet to experience in my life. If you’re sat anywhere near the front, the effect is somewhat akin to someone ramming a party popper up each nostril and simultaneously pulling the strings.
  • The end of Robbie’s paso doble is augmented such that as well as jumping on the desk and grabbing his crotch in Craig’s face, he now…repeatedly punches Craig in the head. LOLBANTER.
  • Anita is so irrelevant to the whole affair that Kate Thornton had to resort to asking her “what would Ange think about all this?”. Anita replied “she’d be right up there on the dancefloor, you’d never get her off”.
  • Anita is so irrelevant to the whole affair that no innuendo was subsequently made at this point. Except by me.
  • The only point they really scrape up for Anita is that on the show she was forced to do her last dance with Brenda, and not with Robin like she wanted. Now she has to do her last dance EVERY NIGHT with Robin, in the manner of some sort of Greek Underworld punishment.
  • I did quite enjoy her salsa though, probably the most of the THREE (WHY, WHY THREE?!) performed on the evening. Her Charleston on the other hand does not work AT ALL in the venue, not even a little bit.
  • Kate Thornton is kind of amazing. My favourite exchange went “Bruno, stop doing that, it’s creepy”, “OH KATE, WHY YOU ALWAYS PICK ON ME?!” “BECAUSE YOU’RE (*exasperated*)…WEIRD!”. She should definitely replace Tess, and then worm her way into Bruce’s position
  • Len is actually probably the best and most endearing judge on tour, which so discombobulated me that I don’t even want to talk about it. His dancing was much better than I expected as well.
  • Yes Len dances. A lot
  • Usually for no reason
  • Mark has only been cast because Craig fancies him. The whole segment revolving around him is basically “how can we get Mark to strip off now?”. At one point or another he was lasciviously praised for how erect he was, his buff swimmers body, and also for his “length of bone”. Also at one point Craig started talking about what he wanted Mark to do with his long probing fingers and then EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE DIED AT THE SAME TIME.
  • The only other point to Mark is repeated frantic passive-aggressive bashing of HAYLEY HOLT! Basically we are to be left in no doubt that she was the worst teacher/dancer/human being alive and that she was only cast on the show by accident. Mark openly states that he was meant to be with Natalie but then got stuck with some rubbish replacement at the last minute who didn’t teach him properly.
  • To be fair, Mark’s waltz is kind of sweet, whilst his cha cha is non-existant. He still…has not quite improved to the extent that they pretend he has.
  • A good 95% of the audience had absolutely no idea who he was.
  • Our section of the audience was augmented with Kate Ford, Celebrity Hairdresser James Brown, and PAST WINNER Chris Hollins, whose stay was a never-ending cycle of signing programmes and hugging people until he had to run away. Holly Valance was also apparently in attendance, but let’s face it, she’s not mixing with the likes of us.
  • Artem’s role on the tour is basically to pull Injury Porn Woobie Face for the entire 2.5 hour duration. Nancy IS his injury, and he embraces her fully. Apparently Nancy has “written it into her contract” that he is not allowed to speak. I would love if this was a slam on Anton in some way.
  • The borderline between fantasy and reality has become so blurred with Nancy at this point that I have no idea how many of the “she has written it into her contract that…” jokes are actually true.
  • Nancy basically hosts her own segment of the show, interviewing the judges, and spouting forth on life, philosophy, and also…well I couldn’t make out much of it, but it was all hilarious. Artem gives her a shoulder massage throughout.
  • One of Nancy’s major storylines on the tour is that she is going to shag Craig by the end of it. Why this was not her main storyline on the actual show, I do not know.
  • Nancy’s tango is much the same, but her salsa has been TRANSFORMED into a comedy masterpiece wherein Robin and Artem carry her around on a litter to “Walk Like An Egyptian”. There is pretty much no dancing involved, which makes it all the better.
  • Nancy in group-dances is something to behold. She spent a good two of them spending the ENTIRE DURATION frantically looking around trying to see what everyone else was doing, and attempting to catch up. Artem found this very amusing.
  • In the other, she was a gay zombie Cleopatra resurrected to “Back To Life” by Soul II Soul, who then dances around with a slave army to “Born This Way”. This is a thing that happened. I could not stop laughing.
  • Tragically, where the sane amongst us see delusion and think “HOORAY! COMEDY AHOY!”, some people see delusion and react poorly. It is thus I can sadly report that someone at some point yelled “OH SHUT UP NANCY!”, genuinely aggrieved.
  • Other exciting adventures in “taking it seriously” were someone yelling out that Harry was boring, someone spending the entire show muttering that they didn’t like Chelsee because she was annoying, and also someone booing when Harry won. This may have all been the same Jason fan.
  • Jason is exactly as earnest on tour as he was on the show by the way. He does not participate in the innuendo, just says a lot about true character-work and dedication and so on and so on and so on forever.
  • His jive was a MESS, but his family were apparently all in attendance, so the judges pretended it wasn’t. This is the only explanation.
  • Actually, in general, it becomes really obvious just how “nice” the judges are being to…pretty much every couple, because there is a hell of lot of “inventing stuff that never actually happened at any point” going on. I’m not saying this makes the tour any more or less scripted than the actual show, but…it definitely is.
  • Len at one point jokes that he can’t actually see what goes on at the other end of the ballroom, and marks accordingly. He also said that it didn’t matter what he said, everyone in the audience would just vote for who they felt sorry for, or who they fancied anyway. As I said, Tour Len is kind of epic.
  • Jason’s Argentine Tango was…less unnerving in person, although he still invests repeatedly punching himself in the foot with the same energy as he did on the main show.
  • Of all the terrifying lady-thighs on display, Kristina’s are probably the most terrifying. Bonus points also to Katya’s. Artem and Pasha are also suitably…physically correct in person. At one point in the show the both of them performed directly to my side. This was also true of Nancy, Chelsee, and Katya. The Tour Gods smiled on me. (Also at one point Anita tried to cop off with various people in the front row, but you can’t have everything eh?)
  • Chelsee’s phone is still very much the cornerstone of her storyline. To prevent her spending all training-time trying to get hold of it, Pasha has inserted it somewhere pink, tight, and virtually impregnable. Where Pasha is concerned, I would insert myself somewhe[JOKE REDACTED]
  • Pasha’s VT acting has got better. Marginally.
  • Chelsee’s quickstep is still great fun, but she messed up her showdance worse than she did on the final and WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? The final lift lasted about 20 seconds and mostly involved Chelsee rolling around Pasha’s lower portions (I’d gladly spend 20 seconds, if not more, rolling around Pasha’s lower p[JOKE REDACTED]), before doing a leg kick. Chelsee admitted later that she thought the leg kick was “styling it out”. It wasn’t.
  • If overall quality of dancing was high up on your laundry list of reasons to attend the tour I…would probably not bother to be honest. Even the pro-dances are choreographed for “the Fun Factor” rather than being a very exciting showcase.
  • After careful deliberation, I have decided that the best new partnership created by the tour is Natalie and Chelsee. They’re chatting whenever they get the chance, they high-fived at the end, and during one of the group dances I definitely saw Natalie pat Chelsee on the bottom. Total lezzmance. Or whatever the female equivalent of a “bromance” is.
  • Ian is very much present. I didn’t get to see a lot of him, but his presence was appreciated.
  • If Harry doesn’t win every single tour date then something very odd will have had to have happened on the night in question. The audience was 95% in his pocket from the off judging from the initial reactions. There was a tangible aura of disappointment every time a contestant was announced who wasn’t him. The entire tour, from script to dance-choices, is written with an outcome of him being the winner in mind. His quickstep is the best dance of the night by a MILLION MILES. Basically, he’s got this sewn up.
  • He’s still very middle-class indeed, and his pronunciation of “Aliona” still gives me life.
  • He is quite fit, in person, although his arse is less spectacular than I was expecting. Ah well.
  • I found his Argentine Tango somewhat underwhelming in person.
  • These are the sum total of my thoughts on 2012 Strictly Tour Champion Harry Judd.
  • Aliona’s VT acting has got better. Marginally.
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21 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing Tour 2012 – A Monkseal Review

  1. Neio

    So Nancy’s dancing with Artem on the tour?! I can’t even imagine that, although her “Walk Like An Egyptian” routine sounds awesome.

    Mark Foster being on the tour does seem kind of random. Craig wanting to shag him (not that I can blame him) must be the only explanation.

    Sorry to hear Harry’s arse wasn’t as spectacular as expected in person. I bet it’s still pretty good though.

    Reply
      1. Verns

        I did an in-depth analysis of Pasha’s and Harry’s respective arses at the Birmingham show (purely scientific curiosity, of course). My ENTIRELY objective conclusion is that Pasha’s arse in motion is a thing of beauty, while Harry’s arse is amazing even when entirely motionless.

  2. Cleo

    Free tickets, you lucky thing! I’ve never read a review of the Tour before, had no idea it was played for laughs (intentional or otherwise). Nancy and Artem?? Who knew he had a sense of humour. I find Kristina’s thighs fairly terrifying on the screen, must be super scary in real life.
    I heard Mark was on the tour and could not understand it at all, but then again, it was Craig who was directing the tour this year!

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I think it’s probably safer to play the whole thing for laughs than pretend it’s an actual competition…

      Reply
  3. Louise

    I couldn’t work out for most of that if you’d really been to see the tour or you’d just had a *really* surreal Strictly dream… Reading about all the Nancy stuff was making me cry with laughter. I hope some of it ends up on Youtube.

    Reply
  4. Carl

    I don’t understand why people would hurl abuse at Nancy. Least of all she might threaten to sue them.

    Your review is almost like being there.

    Did Alesha ever go on these tours?

    If I was there I think I would have had to have asked Kate Ford to repeat her, “IT’S THE EVENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING 2000 YEARS FOR!!!!” or whatever it was.

    I love “Back to Life.” I’m so happy a person I enjoyed on the show danced to it. No memories tainted by, say, Dominic Littlewood.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      As far as I’m aware Alesha has never done a tour – either as a judge or as a contestant. The first tour I went to had Arlene as a judge, and this was post-firing. It was AWKWARD.

      Reply
  5. joistmonkey

    I spotted a (random looking) poster outside the theatre near my house, advertising some kind of Katya and Pasha dance vehicle show thing. Disappointingly, Katya is not wearing a hat in the poster. Pasha is wearing an expression like he has indigestion though.
    (http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/media/21530/dance_580.jpg)
    Such a shame they’ve chosen that shot – some of the other pics on the theatre website, the two of them look quite attractive.

    Reply
    1. Carl

      I kind of like Pasha’s “serious” face. I’m more concerned that Katya is going to be murdered by her own arm.

      Reply
    2. monkseal Post author

      That picture is not doing anything to underplay her slight tendency towards piranha-face. Nice 80s ear-rings though.

      Reply

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